Articles from December 2015

Con Ed: Tenants may lose gas service over $179K dispute

Cross-posted from Journal News

Chris DeFeo of Claremont Management called the dispute “a nightmare” and said Con Edison was “playing dirty.”


MOUNT VERNON – A $179,000 gas bill dispute has Con Edison warning a building’s residents that their heating gas could be cut.

Con Edison sent notices to tenants at 27 Claremont Ave. around Dec. 15 informing them their heating gas could be impacted by Jan. 15 if the landlord, Claremont Management, doesn’t pay its bill.

Con Edison spokesman Sidney Alvarez said that as of Tuesday, the outstanding debt had not been paid. He also said tenants in the 110-unit building can band together and try to make a payment plan.

Chris DeFeo, of Claremont Management, called the dispute “a nightmare” and said Con Edison was “playing dirty.” DeFeo said a switch to an electronic meter reading system has created billing inaccuracies.

“We owe them something. Our dispute is what they came up with for our bill is way above our average,” said DeFeo. “How can you send a letter like that to our tenants and get them all spooked before Christmas?”

DeFeo said he’s taken the dispute to the New York State Public Service Commission for mediation. On Monday, DeFeo received an email from the commission’s Office of Consumer Services stating it is investigating the dispute.

A resident who said she recently moved into 27 Claremont Ave. confirmed she received a notice about the gas shut-off, but declined to be interviewed about the situation.

Dennis Hanratty, of Mount Vernon United Tenants, said he got a call from an alarmed resident of 27 Claremont Ave. on Monday seeking guidance.

Hanratty said he was surprised by the call because he described Claremont Management’s buildings as “very well maintained.”  A one-bedroom apartment at 27 Claremont Ave. starts around $1,500 a month, according to the management company.

“My experience with buildings is that eventually landlords make some arrangement,” Hanratty said.


Tenant Alert!!

This coming week is a big week for MVUT!

We both want to inform our members and friends about the upcoming dates and encourage their participation in a couple of events. Specifically they are:

Wednesday December 9–7:00 pm – Mt. Vernon City Council Meeting (2nd floor in City Hall)

We’re having a number of people testify and request that the City Council do two (2) things:

– Raise the income eligibility under the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program to S 50,000 from the previously-increased amount of $40,000 which was done earlier in the year.

– Adopt the Disabled Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program, which Mt. Vernon has not done as yet.

The Council has indicated a willingness to consider both of these issues and we’d like to see them act before the end of the year. Please come to the City Council Meeting and show your support

Thursday December 10 – 8:00 am – Shiloh Baptist Church in New Rochelle*

MVUT is organizing a “Legislative Breakfast” for the seven (7) housing agencies in Westchester that get funded under the State’s Neighborhood & Rural Preservation Programs (NPP/RPP), and all of the State Assemblymembers and State Senators who represent Westchester County.

*We’re not asking members to come to this as seating is limited. It’s just staff and the Legislators.

Friday December 11 – 6:00 pm – MVUT Office

We’ll be hosting our annual “Holiday Gathering” (flyer sent in previous mailing) in our office for all of our members/friends/clients, etc. It’s a great time to enjoy the holidays and celebrate our successes! We’d ask that people who are coming to bring a dish with them to share, or if they cannot come to make a donation to help defray the costs. Thanks.

The end of the year is always a good time to make a donation (either for the “Holiday Gathering” or just to support MVUT).  Thanks again!

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Support MVUT!!!

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